The Penultimate Father’s Day

Most fathers, particularly those who grew up in less than ideal circumstances, want their kids to enjoy an ideal childhood. In short, we wish to provide all those things we didn’t have. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, and we have just 362 days of parenting children remaining, it’s that I’m only human and fall infinitely short of the Ideal. Thankfully, I’m learning to relax.

Every once in a while things work out perfectly, and you sit back and enjoy the ride. Today, throughout a two-hour window of time, was one of those days. Like most moments of perfection, the ingredients for satisfaction were the very picture of simplicity.

My twins are remarkably different human beings. It’s hard to believe they spent 9 months together in the same womb.

With a south wind, and temps in the low 60’s by Lake Superior, I thought I’d chance Island Lake as a destination. Going inland is always risky when it comes to bugs and such.

Today we got lucky, and quietly sat there, each reading our own books, as the wind blew away every last mosquito. Lunch was as basic as it comes: PBJ, apples, yada yada. Twas a lovely picnic. Being a father doesn’t have to be so difficult.

I paid $30 for this book, a hardcover. I NEVER DO THIS! In fact, this is the most I’ve paid for a book since the old textbook days, but I am so glad I did. This is the debut novel of Leif Enger’s son, John, and I love it. Sometimes I just sit there and consider its heft, roughly the thickness of a dimensional 2X4 (as described by the writer who primarily works with wood in the woods), and enjoy the feel of high quality paper. I’m slowly savoring every page.

Returning home, it was 20 degrees colder. Things required watering, and I had a single tray of yellow peas to plant.

The crops don’t care that it’s Father’s Day. These, a variety producing lots of tendrils for fancy chefs, seem to take a bit longer than the usual kind.

I also had a migraine, but I didn’t care. My heart was full.

The latest edition of the podcast is about Dad-guilt. Give a listen if you’re keen. I’m feeling somewhat liberated.


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